Big foot in Iowa

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed seeing and identifying animal tracks.  Each animal is so distinctive.  Snow provides a unique opportunity to see what wildlife live on or travel across our property. No matter how fresh the snow, by the time I get out in the morning, some animals will have passed by.

I know because of its tracks that a neighbor’s cat is a regular traveler down our front walk. I also know that a rabbit lives north of the drive but finds a daily reason to bound across the drive and through my garden. Occasionally I see the rabbit. Except for its tracks, I never see the cat. We also have dogs, deer, and many birds. Their tracks tell me so.

A few weeks ago, I indulged myself with a pair of snowshoes. Compared to other members of the animal kingdom that traverse our yard, my tracks are HUGE! A true big foot. These snowshoes encourage me to take a wider, closer and more frequent look at what is traveling our property.

Our 2 1/2 acres provide plenty of room to roam. But occasionally, I head north and lay down tracks across my neighbors’ lawns. 

After a break of several days, I recently took that northern route. A new snow had fallen and when I first saw snowshoe tracks, I thought they were my own from a previous walk. Upon looking closer; however, I saw that the shape, length of stride, and even route were different. I realized with some delight that I was not the only one of my species in this territory!

I wonder if my animal neighbors see my tracks, scent my trail, and wonder about their new neighbor?  I do know that my invisible cat friend likes the trail I have tramped down. Its prints now follow mine!

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